The marriage of front porches with backyard patios has spawned the front yard patio. Here’s how this outdoor trend takes advantage of valuable real estate and enhances neighbor relations.
Patios are gaining traction with buyers. In 2004, 73% of buyers rated patios “essential or desirable” in a National Association of Home Builders survey; in 2012, that number jumped to 82%.
A well-designed front patio breaks up the visual “sameness” of your home’s exterior, says Robert Welsch of Westover Landscape Design in Tarrytown, N.Y. Keep it simple with bold furniture colors and strong shapes.
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealAll Hands on Your Front Yard Deck
OK, it’s not technically a patio, but decks are another way to add fun and curb appeal to your front yard. Install decking boards perpendicular to your house and slightly sloped so that water runs away from siding and foundation walls. Periodically clean and seal decking to keep your deck in tip-top shape.
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealEasy Growing Green
Patio containers give your space a lush look, even if your area is water-deprived. Make your own earth box planter so you’re not a slave to watering. If you want to grow edibles, mix veggies with flowers so the area doesn’t look scruffy, or plant herbs with showy blooms, like chives and rosemary.
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealWarm Relations
Fire pits and fire bowls are great additions to any patio. In summer, toast marshmallows; in fall, bundle up and enjoy the cool autumn air in front of a warm fire. Throw some logs into your fire pit or fuel your fire with propane, natural gas, or gel. Check local ordinances regarding open fires and remove anything flammable that’s close by.
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealFool the Eye
Access your patio with sliding or French doors and start a conversation between the inside and outside of your home. The two spaces will read like one, making both seem bigger. Let both areas share at least one design element — a material or color — to increase chumminess between the spaces. Added benefit: You save time and energy bypassing the front door to access your patio.
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealPlay Nicely Together
Your trees and patio can coexist peacefully. Make sure you use a patio construction that drains water through to the tree’s roots, which extend way past its trunk. Flagstone and brick placed on sand work nicely; permeable patio pavers let water seep right through. Be sure not to crowd the tree, which needs room to grow.
Image: Jeanne Eige of REscape Landscape Design
Front Yard Patios Add Livability and Curb AppealLuxurious Touch
A raging fire in your fireplace and some comfy patio furniture will entice neighbors to join you for some smoothies and a chat on your patio. But don’t go overboard — it’s hard to secure expensive furnishings in the front yard, and you don’t want to tempt passersby with sticky fingers to lift your stuff.